Visiting universities along East Coast … During campus tours there’s note something is “free” … such as, freshman get free laptop, or sodas free 24/7 in student lounge, or printouts from library printers are free. Typically if I look over at other parents they're smirking too. Each college is minimum $34,000/year tuition (plus room/board/fees) – so after that, then free laptop, soda or printouts. Not exactly free - Someone pays.
Associations sometime offer free courses or other programs. I wonder if members smirk because they know they may have already paid for free program through dues. Maybe free, discounted or subsidized programs should be clear about where funding came from when promoted – offered as part of dues, or completely sponsored by generosity of sponsors, or offered at no cost due to excess income from non-dues revenue. There is no free.